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Ohio bishops call for end of death penalty

Catholic World News - February 07, 2011

Concurring with recent comments made by a state supreme court justice and a former director of state prisons, the bishops of Ohio are calling for the abolition of the death penalty in their state.

“Murder rightly evokes moral outrage and a call for justice,” the bishops said in a February 4 statement. “It also calls for spiritual healing and caring support for all those impacted by such a tragedy. Just punishment-- punishment that reflects the seriousness of the offense, seeks restoration for the offense, and protects society-- is a foundational moral principle within our justice system.”

“Just punishment can occur without resorting to the death penalty,” the bishops continued, adding:

Our Church teachings consider the death penalty to be wrong in almost all cases. Every human being is a child of God, no matter what sins the person commits. Every human life has infinite dignity because it is designed by God to be immortal. Today, given the means available to the State for dealing with crime, cases where it is absolutely necessary to use the death penalty are practically nonexistent. In other states and countries, life imprisonment has shown itself to be an effective alternative. Life imprisonment respects the moral view that all life, even that of the worst offender, has value and dignity.

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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Feb. 07, 2011 7:31 PM ET USA

    Why are our bishops so obsessed with the death penalty when it is used on average only 2 times per state per year? There are over 1 million abortions in this country and there is nary a peep out of these bishops. Capital punishment is not murder. It is the God given right for the State to deal with heinous murderers who are a danger to society. These bishops are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel!

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